The Inspirational Music of Bob Mould

I’ve been floundering with my fiction lately. When my critique group meetings creep up on the calendar, I’ve been hobbling together short segments to ward off the shame of going in empty-handed. It’s been a bit disheartening after such a long creative stretch where I’ve published a collection of short stories and written drafts of two novels – one I like, the other I’m placing in the “eh” category right now.

Meeting Bob Mould

Meeting the Inspirational Bob Mould

Last night I went to see Bob Mould perform and read from his book See A Little Light. As I listened to him perform classics such Celebrated Summer, Something I Learned Today, and Hoover Dam, it struck me how much of an influence he has been for me. Since I first listened to Husker Du’s Zen Arcade in 1985, Mould’s guitar riffs and wall of sound have offered me solace when pangs of depression hit. Mould’s music is loud, textured, dark, and fraught with internal conflict. There’s a reason his book is subtitled “The Trail of Rage and Melody.” Some people find his music depressing but I find it to be soothing. His music has become a sort of comfort food for the soul.

Writers often talk about their writing influences, but what artists in other mediums inspire one to sit down and write fiction? Listening to Bob Mould live last night inspired me to dig back in and strive to write deeply. The works of the painter Chaim Soutine inspire me. Several films of director David Lynch inspire me. I’d love to hear what artists inspire other writers to keep their ass in the chair and write.


2 responses to “The Inspirational Music of Bob Mould

  1. I do like Sugar – Hoover Damn, JC Auto etc. are all great songs.

    More generally, I think if you’re feeling uninspired thinking and reading about music, art or something other than fiction/books about fiction can be a real help (I’m currently reading ‘Post Everything’ by Luke Haines – British singer songwriter, not sure if he’s much known in the States) because it gets you thinking about creativity in a more general way.

  2. Music seems to have an amazing ability to open the vault your memory bank and pull out dormant feelings. I guess it’s similar to our sense of smell which also has that effect. Could it be that the rhythm of music high-jacks the left brain while the melody and harmony free the right brain to explore inspiring new possibilities? What ever it is… I’ll take it!

    Porcupine Tree is expecially stimulating for me. It’s like Pink Floyd meets Incubus. Great hooks and soaring dynamics.

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